Monday, December 25, 2006

Wonderful Time with Family

Robbie and I have the privilege each year of spending Christmas with our families. And again, this year has proven to be awesome! We had an awesome time spending Christmas eve with my family* in NE Arkansas. It was fun eating Italian food (non-traditional Christmas Dinner) and playing dominoes! I don't think my Grandmother approved of the non-traditional dinner, but she ate it anyway. Thanks Grandma for indulging us!

We got up at 4:45am Christmas morning to travel to central Arkansas to be with Robbie's family. We drove in heavy rain and 45 mph winds. That was a blast and with our 2 cats in the was a hoot!

We just finished exchanging gifts with Robbie's* family and we are now getting ready for lunch. It has been a fabulous time and I look forward to the rest of the day.

Thank you God for allowing us to have awesome families, but more than that, thank you for your Son, Jesus!

*In actual terms, we do not have separate families. We are all one big family (my family and Robbie's family). I have 2 sets of parents and so does Robbie. I made the distinction here for your reading benefit only!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Annual Christmas with "The Gang"

Robbie and I have the privilege of having true, very close friends we call "The Gang." Each Christmas, "The Gang" gets together for food, fun and gift giving. This year's event was the best one yet. We had great food, great fellowship and gift giving and a total blast watching the kids open and play with their gifts! We are blessed by these dearest friends; our inner circle. We praise God for their devotion, friendship and love. May our relationships stand the test of time and may we always call each other friend! We love you Freemans, Stotts, Skelleys, Paynes & Hawkins!

Russ & Robbie

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Don't Cheapen The Art of Gift Giving!

Every day you see people buzzing around with a million places to go and a million things to do. When you ask someone how they are doing, you get the standard answer, "I am tired" or "I am overwhelmed" or "I am sooooo busy!" It is rather ridiculous how busy we are! We never have to worry about the Bible verse that says, "an idle mind is the Devil's workshop."

In this overly busy society, we look for ways to make our lives easier; ways to lighten our busy schedule. We are a society of convenience seekers!

I was confronted by convenience seekers recently. They asked Robbie and me to make gift giving convenient; easier. Robbie and I protested the idea; yet we were over-ruled by the majority. It was a sad day for both of us. How in the world could we cheapen gift giving by making it easy and convenient? Especially our own family!

I will be the first to say that I am unable to give a gift to everyone! I can not buy a gift for everyone person I know or every friend that I have. I fully understand that gift giving can be very expensive when there are many gifts to give. And there is also the time factor. Some people don't have a lot of time to shop.

BUT....Who ever said that the act of giving a gift is supposed to be easy and convenient? If we strive to make it easy and convenient, then we stop giving gifts and engaged in the act of swapping tangible goods!

Some of the most memorable gifts I have received were ones that cost very little. Some were even home-made! It wasn't the gift itself I remember the most. It was the person I remember; how they gave me something cool when they had very little to give. That is amazing!

I implore each and every one of us to examine why and how we give gifts. We make time for and spend our money on things that are important to us. All you have to do is look at our bank accounts to know where our priorities are. Lets make gift giving special this year!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Awesome Thanksgiving Celebration!

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone! What is left for me are awesome memories. I had the privilege of having my family and Robbie's family together to celebrate the holiday. We had a wonderful time enjoying food, each other's company and thanking God for all of His blessings! Thank you Dad & Mom Rickett for opening up your home to us! Thank you Dad, Mom Rhodes & Grandma for visiting us in our home! We love you all!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Adoption Update

Many of you have asked about the progress of our adoption. We have no new news at this time. We are still awaiting a match to a prospective birth mother.

New baby furniture is the only new thing we have to report! We will continue to wait on God's leadership in our lives!


A Final farewell to my former employer

Since my departure from my former employer some two weeks ago, I have been working as a consultant; helping the new IT Manager get settled into his new position. Being a consultant has two advantages; one it helps me fill the financial void left from resigning and it gives the new IT Manager a boost in the learning curve of a new company.

In this case, I am very grateful for BEI allowing me to be a consultant. I hope I have been helpful! I also wish the new IT Manager the best as he works to fill the huge gaps in administration & management experience.

To my former employer; thanks for a great 5 years. It was an honor and privilege to be your IT Manager. As I begin a new journey in my life, I will always look back to you and have wonderful and fond memories.

I wish you all the best! It is my hope and prayer that the excellence we brought to the IT group will continue and that your company will continue to prosper through the assistance of an awesome computer network!

Thank you!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

And the purchase of baby stuff begins....

Today, Robbie and I purchased baby furniture. This is our first purchase for our new baby. We bought a crib and dresser. Despite the fact that we shelled out some dough, it really has not sunk in that we will be parents very soon. This is all so crazy. We are going to be parents!!! Are we ready? Are we really doing this? What in the world were we thinking?

Ok, it's all good! LOL


Friday, October 27, 2006

Here goes the awesome leap of faith!

Today is my last official day at my Information Technology job. As you know I am leaving my job to pursue my new Personal Chef business.

Anytime you pursue God and His will for your life, there is always a crisis of belief; a leap of faith. I knew when I set out on this journey of becoming a personal chef and a father that there would be a leap of faith; a point when I would have to jump, not knowing where I would land and completely depending on God to take care of me as I fly off the cliff.

Well that day has come. I do not have enough clients to fill the financial void of quitting my job, yet, I have too many clients to keep a full time job. Therefore, I have come to my crisis of belief; will I trust God and jump, or will I trust in my own abilities and work this out myself...staying on what seems the safe path.

Well, I am ready to jump and blow through this crisis of belief! In about 15 minutes, I will be jumping off the cliff and trusting God completely as I fly over the edge!

Thank you God for this opportunity; for the privilege of serving you and being loved by you! You are more amazing that my little brain can comprehend. May my life glorify you and you only! Thank you for this cliff and for the honor of jumping! I love you sooooo much!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Back home from our cruise

We are back home from our 7 day cruise to the Western Caribbean. We started out in Miami; then on to Labadee, Haiti, then to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, then on to Grand Caymen and then to Cozumel and finally back to Miami. We had the priviledge of going with Robbie's parents. This was their first cruise. They had an awesome time as did we. There is nothing like going on a cruise. Once you cruise, nothing else will compare. You get it all!

Our cat, Dax really missed us. He has not left our side since our return. He keeps meowing at us and rubbing. I think this is his way of telling us to never leave him at home alone again!

But, now, reality is back and that means back to work! We work for vacation! LOL

Adoption Update:

We have finished out scrap book and turned it in. The adoption agency is reviewing our file to see if all the paperwork is complete. We have completed the in-home study. Now it is just a matter of matching up with a birth mom. People keep asking how long will it be? It is hard to say...3 months, 5 months, 9? Who knows?

Robbie and I have begun looking at nursery furniture and reading books like Baby Wise. I praise God that I am married to a Pediatrician. I am learning so much from her about infants!

Well, it is getting late and I need to get ready to go back to work tomorrow. Take care and keep us in your prayers!


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My New Business is Growing!

I got up this morning, ready to jump in the shower and guess what.....NO HOT WATER! The pilot light blew out on the hot water while the water is getting hot, I am adding this post!

I have been very hesitant to put anything in out blog about my new business as I do not want it to interfere with my current job. But, I am so excited about it that I must share. I have started my own personal chef business and I got my 4th client last night! Yee Haa! Without going into a long discourse of what a personal chef is, go to and you will get a better idea! I have 2 more interviews this week with potential clients. It is very exciting!

Adoption Update:

Our scrapbook is finished and the final product is amazing. We love it and are thankful again to Brooke at Scrapbook Heaven for all her hard work. She is fabulous! Now we must turn it over to the agency to begin the process of matching us to a birthmom. It won't be long now!
Here are a few pics!


Robbie and I will be crusing the Caribbean with her parents next week! We are ready for the break. We are leaving out of blow away Ernesto!

Take care!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Where do I put all of these blessings?

Have you ever in your life experience a time when you had so many blessings coming your way that you had no way of containing them? It is like filling a cup with water and letting it run over the edges. The water (blessing in this case) just run over the cup and spill everywhere. This is the only way to describe what is going on in our lives right now. God is giving and giving and we are running over! It is simply amazing, exciting and just plain fun! What do you do during this time? All I can tell you is to PRAISE HIS NAME! Thank Him in the morning; thank Him at noon; and thank Him at all means, spend the whole day saying "thanks"! God is so amazing and we are so undeserving of His blessings!

Adoption update:

We had our final in-home interviews this weekend. All is going well. We have some remaining paperwork to finish. Our portfolio ("This Is Your Life" scrapbook) should be done today. This is the book that the birthmom will review to determine who she wishes to adopt her baby. Since Robbie and I are not scapbooking kind of people, we hired this duty out. It has been fun going through all our pictures and writing little quirps. We got to see all of our pages laid out this weekend. I must say, it looks awesome. Thanks to Brooke at Scrapbook Heaven in Bryant, AR, we will have the coolest portfolio book ever!

Vacation; Here we come!

Robbie and I will be crusing on Royal Caribbean very soon. We are looking forward to the break...right before baby Rhodes arrives on the scene.

Well, back to work. We will chat again soon!

Russ & Robbie

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Adoption Progressing

As many of you know, Robbie and I are working on adopting an infant. We are working through a local adoption agency ( We have completed our application and paid the fees. This past Saturday, we completed our first in-home interview. We are currently working on a portfolio (scrapbook) of our life for the birth-moms to look at, to get a look into our life. So far, this portfolio has been the most difficult part...neither Robbie or I are scrapbooking kind of we are paying someone to do it! LOL

Check back here often to get the latest details!

Russ & Robbie

The Start of Our First Blog

Robbie and I have known about blogs for a while now, but were never moved to start one, let alone post our life events out here on the Internet. Yet, after talking to family and friends, here we are!

So here we are, sharing with you the events of our life in the hopes that we can keep some connections with the people we love!

Russ & Robbie